STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – On a bitterly cold night in the Golden Triangle area, the Mississippi State fired up the nets, shooting 48.4 percent from the floor for an 80-62 victory against Vanderbilt Tuesday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
Quinndary Weatherspoon led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Aric Holman recorded his fourth double-double with 18 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Lamar Peters was also in double figures with 10 points.
MSU snapped a three-game losing streak, while improving to 14-4 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Bulldogs are 13-1 in Humphrey Coliseum this season. MSU will now prepare for back-to-back road games (Alabama and Kentucky) before coming back home for a Jan. 27 meeting with Missouri.
“That was a big win for us,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “I was excited for the team. We really shared the basketball. We had some great minutes from a number of players. Eli Wright came off the bench late in the first half when it was a tight game and really gave us some great minutes.
“Aric Holman had a fantastic game. I like our distribution of shots, 20 3-point shots on 64 total shots is good. Defensively, we played well.”
The Bulldogs made 8-of-20 shots from 3-point range, hitting 7 of the final 10 after starting 1 for 10. MSU enjoyed a plus-eight rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 20 assists on 31 made baskets, while committing a season-low four turnovers.
MSU scored the first two baskets of the contest and never trailed. A Tyson Carter layup broke a 15-15 tie and gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. The Bulldogs would later lead 22-17 before the Commodores were back within two at 25-23.
The Bulldogs followed with a 12-0 run and later led 37-25 at halftime.
A 3-pointer by Quinndary Weatherspoon ran the Bulldogs’ lead to 53-39 with 14:09 left in the contest. The Commodores then crawled back within five at 55-50 with 11:47 left.
Lamar Peters followed with a 3-point basket to give the Bulldogs the momentum back. A 13-0 run – fueled by Quinndary Weatherspoon and Holman – blew the contest open and placed the Bulldogs on top 71-52 with 4:54 left.
For the contest, MSU hit 31 of 64 shots from the field (48.4 percent), 8 of 20 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 10 of 15 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent). Vanderbilt hit 26 of 53 shots from the field (49.1 percent), 4 of 20 shots from 3-point range (20.0 percent) and 6 of 9 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent).
MSU held a 37-29 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 20 assists and four turnovers, while the Commodores had 14 assists and 10 turnovers.
Vanderbilt (6-12, 1-5) received 14 points from Ejike Obinna and 10 points from Jeff Roberson. Riley LaChance had a team-high seven rebounds to lead the Commodores.
MSU will take on Alabama Saturday night. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide tip at 7:30 p.m. from Coleman Coliseum on the SEC Network.